Those who buy tickets to Enteng ng Ina Mo know exactly what to expect: a family-friendly movie that has the right mix of fantasy and comedy. The story may not be very innovative, but that does not matter. What matters is that you come out of the cinema laughing.
Enteng ng Ina Mo (directed by Tony Y. Reyes) merges two of the biggest franchises in the Metro Manila Film Festival: MZet, OctoArts, and APT’s Enteng series, and Star Cinema’s Tanging Ina series.
Enteng ng Ina Mo starts where the both franchises ended. Ina Montecillo (Ai-Ai delas Alas), now husband-less, lives a quiet and happy life with some of her children. Enteng Kabisote (Vic Sotto) lives with his children played by Oyo Sotto and Mikylla Ramirez. Aiza Seguerra’s character is in Japan but she appears halfway through the movie.
But the semblance of normalcy ends when Satana (Bing Loyzaga) starts trouble in Engkantasya, the kingdom of fairies, that Faye has no choice but to protect it, and to leave her husband. Angered by his wife’s decision, Enteng decides to go to a bar to drink. There, Satana curses him to love the next woman he sees, so he can forget Faye. So Enteng meets Ina, and they start a playful courtship.
Will Enteng forget Engkantasya altogether? Has Ina Montecillo finally found true love?
Joining the two franchises together naturally puts the film in danger of being an overlong piece. Fortunately, the film is a fast-paced affair; you don’t really feel its one hour and 52 minutes length.
But even though it is fast-paced, you could see that it was originally intended to be slower and longer. It is obvious that many scenes had been brutally cut–you can even see scenes where a cut happens while a character is delivering a dialogue.
Nevertheless, the final piece is still a good watch, and contains the right sequences the audience wants. Hilarity is not few and far between, and when the humor hits, it really hits.
Eugene Domingo, who plays Ina’s assistant and best friend Rowena, delivers most of the laughs. Watch out for the laugh-out-loud scenes where she pulls around a backdrop to aid a dramatic moment, and her kissing scenes with her husband, played by Jon Avila.
Other exceptional performances come from Gwen Zamora, Xyriel Manabat, and Thou Reyes. Gwen draws attention every time she is on the screen, while Xyriel’s quips as a child wise beyond her years are always a riot. Lastly, Thou Reyes’s performance as a bird monster in Satana’s army was so believable, you’d wish to see him in more films.
Since this film is part of two franchises, some viewers not familiar with the previous movies may have a hard time understanding some of the gags. The general story, however, does not suffer due to this.
The climactic battle between Enteng and Ina’s camp versus Satana’s evil forces are fun to watch, even though it lacks tension. This battle may end on a sad note, but the final scene forgets this death altogether, so the film still ends in a happy note.
The first day gross earnings of the seven entries in MMFF 2011 are already in, and it comes as no surprise that Enteng ng Ina Mo is in the lead. According to Kris Aquino’s Twitter update, teamup of Ai-Ai and Vic grossed P38.5 million on its opening day last Christmas, December 25.
Enteng ng Ina Mo delivers the perfect mix of humor and fantasy that MMFF moviegoers look for year after year.